A California employee’s right to overtime pay is governed by both federal law: the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); and California law: (Labor Code and Wage Orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission). Generally speaking, California law is more favorable to employees than federal standards, and California employers must comply with whichever standard provides the greater protection to employees.

Requirements When Overtime Pay is Due

Under both federal and state law, overtime compensation is based on an employee’s regular rate of pay. Under California law, employers must pay one and a half times an employee’s regular rate where an employee worked of more than eight per workday or more than 40 hours per week.  In addition, for any time he or she works in excess of 12 hours during a single workday, or for any time worked in excess of 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work during a workweek, an employee must be paid double their regular rate of pay.

The employer bears the burden of proving that employees fit “plainly and unmistakably” within an exemption to the overtime compensation requirement. Workers that are employed as “administrative”, “professional”, or “executive” employees are generally exempt from overtime pay requirements. California regulations provide very specific definitions of these three exempt categories.

The statue of limitations under the Federal Fair Labor and Standards Act is two years, but it is extended to three years for “willful” violations. The statute of limitations for wage claims under California law is generally four years from the time the compensation was due.

The Dean Law Group, with its decades of experience, is in position to help you sort out these complex employment issues.  Our experienced employment lawyers have had numerous trials, arbitrations and mediations, as well as handled many administrative proceedings.  The Dean Law Group’s attorneys practice in both state and federal courts.